Longtime reader and regular commenter Jake, who lives in Washington DC and can be found on Instgram or Twitter @bestdressedmenno, entertained us last summer with a 4-part series on royal men’s hats. He has previously suggested hats from the wardrobes of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Maxima and Queen Margrethe he’d like to see repeated, a series he continues today with a Belgian twist. I’m very pleased to welcome back Jake!
While we’re waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to pass, HatQueen graciously invited me to explore some more hats I would like to see return on royal heads. Today’s post features those of Queen Mathilde!
I will admit I’ve not paid as close attention to Mathilde’s millinery over the years as I have with other royals, nor have I always enjoyed her choices as much, but she’s definitely been pretty fearless in trying out many designs. Almost all of the hats featured here are by Fabienne Delvigne, and while I (and others) have complaints/hesitations about the quality of her work, I tried to keep criticism to a minimum, bringing it up only as necessary. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my top 10 choices of hats Mathilde should bring back.
1. A simple and sleek, yet chic, cartwheel brim hat in black velour felt worn at the funeral of Luxembourg’s Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte on 15 January 2005. It’s a shame it appears to never have been repeated (although the coat can stay in the past), and it resembles my favorite hat of her sister-in-law Astrid.
2. Mathilde has worn many red hats over the years, but few have seemed as flattering IMO as this one from Prince Christian of Denmark’s christening on 21 January 2006. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
3. Mathilde is more likely to wear calots than cocktail hats, but I love this one on her. The color combination is quite unexpected for her (but beautiful), the placement is just right, and I (mostly) enjoy the organic feel of the design (a Delvigne hallmark). Worn on 27 September 2013. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
4. Fascinators have long divided popular opinion (I usually am a fan), but I really love how delicate and unique this one is on Mathilde. It was first worn at King Carl Gustaf’s 60th birthday celebrations on 30 April 2006. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
5. Everyone has that one hat they love and everyone else probably hates. This is one of mine! Red is a fabulous color for Mathilde, and as a sci-fi fan, the “Saturn’s rings” trim on this rounded pillbox appeals to me even more. Worn on 20 June 2006 during a Dutch state visit to Belgium (where interestingly, then-Queen Beatrix and Máxima changed hats and outfits during this particular outing while Paola and Mathilde did not). Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
6. It’s a shame Mathilde hasn’t worn more fuchsia, because I love the vibrant color of this hat on her! Granted, I’m not fully in love with the organic shape (again, a Delvigne hallmark) and the bow on the back is questionable with its quality, but with a little more refinement, this could make a great comeback. Worn during an official visit to the Netherlands on 8 November 2013. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
7. Cloches aren’t common on Mathilde, but this one is fabulous, and the color combination of greys and beiges this time is more striking than usual. I also love the jaunty angle (although when I look back at the comments on the post for this hat, I wasn’t such a fan; time has obviously won me over!). First worn 12 February 2015 at the annual memorial mass to remember deceased members of the Belgian Royal Family, it was repeated 3 years later, but deserves another outing. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
8. Mathilde often favors smaller hats (understandable for practicality’s sake), but this blush pink wide brim (made from what looks to be panama straw) worn at the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander on 30 April 2013 frames her face so well, and I love its pairing with the more saturated pink dress for a easily coordinated and chic look. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
9. Another cocktail hat that sadly has not been repeated is this green-hued bluestone one from an official visit to the Netherlands on 30 November 2016. This time Delvigne’s organic designs work well with this stylized large bow hat. The color is also beautiful on Mathilde, and pairs perfectly with this outfit; I do wonder what it would look like with her hair down and with a dress/skirt that flared out a bit. Hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
10. Finally, the likelihood of seeing this one again is almost zero, but the teal hat worn to William & Kate’s wedding on 29 April 2011 would make a fantastic hat to repeat for the Belgian National Day celebrations. If repeated, preferably it would be paired with a less shiny outfit; something in charcoal grey to coordinate with the trim would be a nice switch, and that would let the teal of the hat show off more, along with other teal accessories, like the clutch she had at the wedding. Hat by Philip Treacy.
Clearly, I think we don’t see enough wide brims on Mathilde! What do you think? Which hats would you like to see Mathilde bring out of her hat archives?
Thanks, Jake! You’ve included some of my favourites- the red “Saturn’s Rings” is so fun and the last hat, the teal Philip Treacy saucer, is simply spectacular. I can’t wait to hear what other hats are suggested!